Borderlands User Review
- Just Right
- Time Spent:
- 20 to 40 Hours
- The Bottom Line:
Borderlands is slick, fun and stylised and an awesome game to boot. I must say that when I heard of a RPG shooter I was sceptical. I was interested of course, and shooters have had RPG aspects for a long while, but a game that was primarily an RPG and a shooter second was quite an ambitious project.
Whether Gearbox delivered on this promise is a little bit in the eye of the beholder. People who hate it will call it repetitive, full of fetch quests and shooting minions, and there is no denying there is quite a lot of that, that being said it is a pretty simplistic way to look at it and probably a little unfair.
This is a game that is very action orientated and very hectic. Sure it has some RPG trappings, it has numbers fly off over your opponents heads as you attack them, and you can miss headshots at close range, it never feels like it strays that far from the shooter mechanics. The RPG elements are pretty light, there are 3 distinct paths you can take with character progression, which you will invariably find a way that suits your style. Yakuza 3
This game is probably most fun when you have friends or even random people tag along. Be forewarned, the loot system is a total free-for-all, so if you are lagging even slightly you may miss out on great loot. The higher your level the worse this becomes as you may miss out on something extremely useful. I highly recommend playing through first time with friends or by yourself, although the fun is when you have friends tag along, even if it happen that your party members are more worried about griefing you.
The game is very satisfying in terms of combat in general. All of the guns feel meaty, although obviously as you progress they feel meatier and add to their base damage things like acid or incendiary damage and you have some pretty powerful weapons. Each of the 4 characters has their unique talents and strengths and none feels like they are the wrong choice, which is often a hard thing to do.
I've touched on guns twice already but this is where the game will appeal to some perverse hording instinct in your mind. Anyone who has ever played Diablo, Torchlight et al, will know the lure of the next great piece of loot. I was constantly drawn by what the next monster or enemy might drop. Gearbox knew this would be a lure and thankfully they made a inventory system that not only limits what you can carry, so you are not scrolling through hundreds of pages of guns, but also make for very easy comparison between what you are carrying and what you are thinking of swapping in. The guns themselves come in all shapes and sizes and you will no doubt find one that suits your play style.
While the comparison to a MMO can be unfair at times, it can also be completely justified. The quests are very similar and do boil down to fetch quests or go here and kill x number of beasts, it's not the most riveting stuff and for almost a third of the game you will be shooting 'skags', the Borderlands equivalent of the kobold. Also the story is very weak, something about a vault that opens every so many thousand years and an evil that will come forth. It's all pretty lame and the ending would have to be one of the worst I have ever experienced. It can be enjoyed for what it is but if you are in to deep and meaningful stories you won't find all that much here. It's lucky that it is such a fun game.
The game looks great, the cell shaded art is a huge asset and sets it apart from something like Fallout and other post apocalyptic games. There were a few minor issues with pop-in but it never detracted from the overall experience, it just wasn't as sharp as it could have been.
It controls almost exactly as has become standard in a console shooter, there's not too much to say there it is intuitive and fun, although the vehicle controls are poor, using the left stick to accelerate was a strange choice to say the least, it's clunky and takes some getting used to and the game would have been better for the mapping the controls differently. The design of the wastelands and characters area all interesting and feel like they fit the world you are traversing.
Sound wise it's good with out being memorable, the opening theme is the high point with everything mostly better than average, the screams of enemies and creatures are passable some screams are particularly good but it's repeated fairly frequently so it loses its impact. The guns do sound meaty and do give the feeling that you are packing some pretty heavy weaponry.
Borderlands is a game that unashamedly straddles the line between RPG and Shooter, and it works. Sure its loot system 'borrows' from a game like Diablo, but it doesn't make it any less fun an experience. It's a game that people will love or hate, the art style was unique enough to keep me interested and while the quests could have been a little more interesting at times, there is no shortage of fun.
More User Reviews
- Player Reviews: 163
- Game Universe:
- Borderlands (X360, PC, PS3),
- Borderlands: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned (PS3, X360, PC),
- Borderlands: Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot (PS3, X360, PC),
- Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx (PS3, PC, X360),
- Borderlands: Double Game Add-On Pack (X360, PC),
- Borderlands: Claptrap's New Robot Revolution (PS3, X360, PC),
- Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition (X360, PS3, PC, MAC),
- Borderlands 2 (X360, PS3, PC, MAC),
- The Border Lands (WEB),
- Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty (X360, PS3, PC)
- Offline Modes:
- Online Modes:
- Number of Players:
- Number of Online Players:
4 Players Online